84 (passed away Jul. 3rd, 1986)
Jul. 28th, 1901
Island Pond, Vermont, USA
Rudy Vallee's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles1968 - The Night They Raided Minsky's
1968 - Live a Little, Love a Little
1967 - How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying
1950 - The Admiral Was a Lady
1948 - I Remember Mama
1948 - Unfaithfully Yours
1947 - The Bachelor And The Bobby-Soxer
1947 - The Sin of Harold Diddlebock
1946 - People Are Funny
1942 - The Palm Beach Story
1939 - Second Fiddle
1933 - International House
Guest TV Roles
Lord Marmaduke Ffogg
Herbert A. Smith
Rudy Vallee started his career as a saxophone player and singer and later became a band leader. In the 1920s and early 30s he had a hit radio program, The Fleishmann's Yeast Hour (where he was hated by his cast and crew due to his explosive ego-driven personality). In the early 1930's he was ranked with the likes of Bing Crosby and the tragic Russ Columbo (I) in the Hit Parade. A huge hit on radio in 1933 with his program, initially known as 'The Fleischmann's Yeast Hour,' Vallee was considered a slave driver by his staff. He was known to instigate fist fights with virtually anyone who got on his nerves. During the run of his show he slugged photographers, threw sheet music in the faces of pianists' heads and if provoked, would sock hecklers in the nose. While audiences loved him, he was hated by most of his staff. As a very popular star in night clubs and on records, as well as in movies, he helped other singers like Alice Faye (I) - who was for a while his band singer - and Frances Langford to start their careers. In his early movies he often played the romantic lead, but he switched later to stuffy and comic parts. He also appeared on Broadway. The mid-60's Broadway hit "How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" was filmed in 1967 with him in his original Broadway role.
- Interred at Saint Hyacinth's Cemetery, Westbrook, Maine, USA. Second row in from Stroud Water Street.
- The headstones for both him and his brother were stolen; only the family plot marker remains at Saint Hyacinth's.
- Profiled in "Old Time Radio Memories" by Mel Simons (BearManor Media).
- Sang "Empty Saddles" at the funeral of 'Tom Mix' (qv)
- He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Radio at 1632 Vine Street in Hollywood, California.
- As a singing bandleader in the 1920s and 1930s, he introduced many songs that would ultimately become pop standards, among them "Goodnight, Sweetheart," "The Maine Stein Song," "As Time Goes By," "Would You Like to Take a Walk?," "Betty Co-Ed" and his two theme songs, "Heigh-Ho, Everybody" and "I'm Just a Vagabond Lover." He never did introduce the 1967 hit that parodied his style, "Winchester Cathedral," although he sang it frequently afterwards.
- Died while watching the Statue of Liberty Centennial celebrations on TV, his reported last words being, "I wish I could be there. You know how I've always loved a party."
- Biography in: "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives". Volume Two, 1986-1990, pages 846-849. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1999.
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